Michigan Animal Shelter Registration Details & FAQ

Who needs an Animal Shelter Registration?

  • A municipality that operates a housing facility for the impoundment and care of dogs, cats, and other specific animals that are:
    • strays, lost, or surrendered by their owners,

    • impounded or otherwise being held for animal law violations.

  • A person, a business, or a non-profit organization that operates a housing facility for the care of dogs, cats, and other specific animals that are:

    • surrendered by their owners,

    • transferred or adopted from other shelters and otherwise homeless.

  • Housing facilities includes a separate room, building, or area used to contain a primary enclosure(s) such as cages, kennels, or community cat rooms.

  • Organizations that operate solely through a network of foster homes where the animal lives in the home as their pet would do not qualify for a shelter registration as they do not have a housing facility.

How Do I Apply for a Registration?

  • Contact the Animal Industry Division at 517-284-5769, 800-292-3939, or via email: animalshelters@michigan.gov for more information regarding operating an animal shelter and the specific facility requirements.

  • Complete the Animal Shelter Registration Application (Form AH-025) and submit to our Lansing Office.  Once the application is found to be complete, it will be forwarded to program staff to initiate an inspection.

  • Your shelter must pass a facility inspection before a registration will be issued, therefore it should be reasonably ready at the time you apply for the registration.

Resources & Forms for Registered Shelters

Pursuant to Act 287 of 1969 as amended, each registered shelter is required to annually report their animal statistics for the prior year by March 31st of the subsequent year. The statistics are a portion of the records that shelters are required to keep for at least 2 years. The report elements focus on companion animals by age and alteration status at the time of adoption. Other information includes total number of animals adopted, transferred to other registered shelters, reunited with their owners, and euthanized.

Animal Shelter Annual Report (Form AI-034)

Animal Welfare Fund

The Animal Welfare Fund Act, Act 132 of 2007, allows Michigan taxpayers to voluntarily contribute to the fund via Income Tax Form 4642.  MDARD oversees the fund and annually offers grants to promote:

  • An increase in the number of Michigan shelters’ dogs and cats that are spayed or neutered prior to adoption,

  • Educating the public on the proper care of animals, and

  • Anti-cruelty training for animal law enforcement personnel.

  • Michigan’s homeless shelter animals are the primary beneficiaries of these donated dollars.

                                 The Animal Welfare Fund, Act 132 of 2007

                                 March 3, 2016 Press Release

                                 Grant Recipient Payment Instructions

Anyone who receives grant payments from the State of Michigan must be registered with the State Budget Office’s Contract & Payment Express Vendor & Payee Registration to receive payments via Direct Deposit (Electronic Funds Transfer).  More information on how to register can be found on their website: Contract & Payment Express (C&PE)

 Laws and Regulations

The most frequently-used laws and regulations regarding animal care, shelters, shelter animals, and animal control agencies:

How Do I File A Complaint About A Shelter?

If you have concerns about the care of the animals and the conditions of an animal shelter, you may file an on-line complaint with MDARD.  Please include the name and location of the facility, the time and date you were at the facility, and specific animal information (for example: black & white small dog in the adoption ward “Freddy.”)

If you have an animal welfare complaint involving a pet store, kennel, breeder, or livestock animals, you need to contact the local animal law enforcement agency (animal control, sheriff, police) where the facility is located for potential penal code and/or local ordinance violations.   For  more information regarding animal control agencies in Michigan, please see:  http://www.maacoweb.com/

Please contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development directly at 1-800-292-3939 with additional questions.